Guest speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday in Kelowna for the JoeAnna’s House project were Kelowna Hospital Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore (at the podium) along with (from left) Team Construction project manager Chuck Cullen, KGH health services administrator Andrew Hughes and KGH Foundation board member Sasha Carter. Photo: Barry Gerding/Black Press

JoeAnna’s House construction breaks ground in Kelowna

Moving forward on temporary housing facility for KGH out of town patient family members

An excavator plunging into the parking lot pavement marked the beginning of JoeAnna’s house, a 20-room facility for out-of-town patient family members at Kelowna General Hospital.

While construction is now officially underway on the project, fundraising continues as the campaign so far has surpassed $7 million in seeking to meet its $8 million objective.

“I am so excited. I just can’t believe it,” said Doug Rankmore, chief executive officer of the KGH Foundation, which has co-ordinated the fundraising campaign in partnership with the Huber and Schneider families, owners of Prestige Hotels and Resorts.

Prestige committed $1 million in support of JoeAnna’s House, named after family patriarchs Joe and Anna Huber.

RELATED: JoeAnna’s House ready to break ground in Kelowna

Rankmore said discussions about the housing project have been ongoing for years, so to see all the hurdles overcome to reach the groundbreaking point was, for him, “a fantastic moment.”

Caterpillar shovel breaks ground on JoeAnna’s House project at Kelowna General Hospital site. Photo: Barry Gerding/Black Press

“JoeAnna’s House will be a safe haven for many people facing a great challenge. For some, it will be a loved one in trouble, enduring many dark times. For some literally not knowing what the next day will bring,” he said.

“When people’s lives are being turned upside down, we are hoping JoeAnna’s House will be a place of recovery and healing, and confident that for many who arrive to stay here in dark times and dark hours will leave with much more hope in their hearts.”

He called JoeAnna’s House a facility built from the generosity of people in Kelowna and across the Interior Health region.

“This is a house built on good wishes,” he said.

Gold Gala raises more than $1 million for JoeAnna’s House

Andrew Hughes, KGH health services administrator, noted currently their are five babies under neo-natal care in the hospital and the moms for all five are from outside Kelowna.

“In total, we have 100 patients admitted to the hospital as of this morning that are from out of town,” Hughes said.

He said while KGH has become a focal point for medical treatment resources for the Southern Interior, it still is a major trek for people living in the Cariboo or the Kootenays with loved ones requiring at the hospital, and finding temporary accommodation for the loved ones of patients is one of the biggest challenges.

“We don’t often send patients to Vancouver anymore which is positive as we have some of the best care available in the country here in Kelowna, but people who live outside of Kelowna such as Williams Lake, Golden or the Kootenays still have to travel here,” he said.

RELATED: Supporting a worthy cause

Terry Schneider, president of Prestige Hotels & Resorts, said their family was thrilled to see this project break ground on construction which will be completed next year.

“We never dreamed how much positive reception this project would have, the support we would get from the City of Kelowna and all the citizens. It is so gratifying for us to see,” Schneider said.

The building contract for JoeAnna’s House has been awarded to Team Construction, a Kelowna firm.

Project manager Chuck Cullen acknowledged that building JoeAnna’s House on a current parking lot will place more pressure on people driving to and from the hospital.

“We apologize for that up front for those coming around looking for a place to park and extend an invitation to any neighbours who want to talk with us and be part of that conversation,” said Chuck Cullen, construction project manager.

“We don’t want to displace anyone but this is a project that will involve short-term pain for long-term gain.”



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

UPDATE: Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Grocery pickups and other supports available for Shuswap seniors living at home

BC 211 is another way to connect with Shuswap Better at Home program

Neighbours surprise and move Shuswap health-care worker with their appreciations

Residents in subdivision greet neighbour on return from work at Salmon Arm hospital

Most Read